Life is like a boxing match.

Growing up in the city of Rostov-on-Don in Southern Russia, sports have always been a big thing in the life of the Russians. In fact, state-sponsored sports complexes are common across the land and offer training free-of-charge to anyone who was interested in sports. Most of the boys around my age were doing boxing and wrestling, and taking up the boxing gloves was almost second nature.

Boxing became part of my life and I got good at the sport. I was also passionate about teaching others and coaching boxing seemed like as good a way to make a living doing something I like. This was the reason why I started Alex Gym to share my passion for boxing with more people

I came to Malaysia in 1999 to experience a change of pace from my life in Russia. Unlike many other countries at that time, Malaysia has been very welcoming to Russians and it was relative to get a visa to settle in.

Being a country that is very different from Russia in terms of the people, culture, food, climate and language, settling into Malaysia did present some challenges. That said, the challenges were dealt over time with as I like the country and found the assimilating process very interesting in itself. Before I knew it, I am in the country for almost two decades and am currently based in SS2 in Petaling Jaya.

There are many people whom have impacted my life in ways large and small through my early days in Russia and the last 18 years in Malaysia. There is no doubt that my interactions with others have shaped me into who I am today, but if I were to pinpoint something that brought out the best in me, it has to be the relentless desire to learn.

Like I said, there are many people we come across in our life and each of them has a lesson to teach. The lessons can be a joyous learning experience or a painful one, what is important is that we make sure that we face these lessons with an open heart and an unwavering desire to get out of it stronger and better than before.

In a way, life is like a boxing match. We train hard to prepare ourselves for the challenges in the ring. We go into the ring expecting to take a few punches to the face but what we have learned and honed into our body will allow us to tank those punches and counter with our own. As long as we have learned and train well, we are going to have a chance to succeed.